What incredible weather we have been having. As always I keep a close watch on water temperatures through the winter months and despite catching a few carp on New Years day I couldn’t ignore how warm the rivers were getting and the barbel were calling me.
I managed to get out for a couple of hours on a small river and was rewarded with a couple of nice chub. Really nice fishing wandering around with one rod and lowering apple cored Rahja Spice boilies with a Rahja Spice paste wrap into various likely looking holes. Really rewarding and ‘proper angling’ with me feeling really content after getting out there and finding the fish rather than sitting and waiting for them to find me.
Later in the day after getting a few jobs out of the way the rivers were still calling so I decided to spend a couple of hours trying for the barbel on the River Trent. The Trent is still quite high so I was going to have to anchor my baits in place and build a swim with big cage feeders.
The feeder mix I put together was as follows…
1 part Rahja Spice Maximum Action Pellets
1 part Rahja Spice broken boilies
1 part Naked Hemp
1 part mixed pellet
These were put into a sieve and a full kettle full of boiling water poured over them then immediately transferred to my bait bucket and the lid put on in place. This ‘scalding’ helps to release the flavours quicker and is enough to make the mix sticky/fluffy enough to stay in a cage feeder during the cast without the need for ground bait plugs.
I hadn’t been fishing long when the tip hooped around in a classic 3ft barbel twitch bite and I found myself battling away against my first Trent Barbel of 2013. The Free Spirit Big Water Barbel rod and Okuma reel did their jobs superbly and soon I was looking at a nice fish in the net.
I left for home shortly after again feeling really content with myself for reading the conditions and making the most of the little time I had available.
The following day I was naturally desperate for some more river action but it wasn’t until just before dark that I was able to get back onto the Trent.
I sat through the period that had produced my barbel from the previous day but no signs of fish being home on the rod tips at all. I decided to stay longer and recast one of the rods to explore and fish further upstream than I had been doing. It hadn’t been in for long when the classic drop back of the rod tip signalled a fish had taken a liking to my Rahja Mix. Not a barbel this time but the chub that was attached was still very welcome.
I decided to give it another half an hour and was just thinking about wrapping up when the rod tip on the upstream cast again suddenly flicked straight. I wound down fast and knew straight away that I was into a barbel. The fight it put up was incredible with lots of line being stripped from the reel. Eventually though I won the day and another nice barbel of 10lb 6oz slipped into the waiting landing net.
I wonder if I can get away for an hour or two again to-night whilst this weather is how it is?